This past week I had my visit with my Rheumy. She poked and prodded (physically and metaphorically) and she got me thinking.
For starters, I’m thinking that 85% back to ‘normal’ might be good enough if it means that the next couple percent mean that I have to be tied to an IV for the rest of my life. Not every day, I know that, but often enough that I would have to think and plan everything I do to make sure it doesn’t correspond to the time when I would have to get an infusion. And I might never get to the magic remission that is rumored to exist. I might never actually ever get even a couple more percentage points further towards ‘normal’. The questions will have to be weighed going forward.
She asked me a question, though, that kind of struck me as funny. She asked me if there are ever days that go by when I don’t think about having RA.
RA has defined my life for almost two years. There may be days when I feel more normal. There are days when I don’t think that it so incredibly sucks that I have RA. But are there days when I don’t think about having it? Maybe. Not many. It is kind of like the fact that I’m the mom of kids who have epilepsy. Like the fact that I am a writer.
I have an invisible disease. The pain in my hands and feet may only be a dull stiff ache. But there are many people like me who aren’t as lucky. Who hurt a lot worse, who have a lot more serious deformities. I think of how I can make even the smallest difference (and I really know that if I make any difference at all it in minuscule… I’m starting to be somewhat okay with the fact that I’m really not supposed to make a big difference anywhere) in someone’s life… anyone’s life… then ignoring the fact that I have RA would be irresponsible to me.
Plus, how can I not think about the fact that I have RA. How can I not remember that I have to consciously think about drinking a can of pop or touching the elevator buttons or ordering at a fast food place where they might or might not wear plastic gloves, where they might or might not wash their hands after scratching their whatever… how can I not think about it?
I know it’s hard. But don’t think you can’t make a change in anyone’s life! You might never know but maybe somewhere out there is a stranger whose life has changed just because of something you said and you don’t even know 🙂
Keep dreaming. Just because you’re ill with RA diesn’t mean you should stop living life and stop trying to be someone somebody admires!
There’s a senior in my med school and he has cancer, yet he comes to college and studies and does what everyone else does! Don’t give up on yourself! You have so much in you!! Just know it and step out! The world awaits to be touched by you!